Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 shows foldable phones are maturing, still expensive

    Overnight Samsung held their Unpacked event online and revealed two new foldable smartphones. The Galaxy Z Fold3 and the Galaxy Z Flip3. Now in their third generation, foldable phones are certainly maturing.

    When foldable first arrived on the market a couple of years ago, they were much more of a technical demo, than a practical device you could live with. Now the category is established, devices like the Fold3 walks comfortably between the smartphone and tablet form factors.

    While these transforming phones offer better screen real estate and portability, these come at a hefty price tag. As you could hopefully guess from the names, they both come with 5G connectivity.

    Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G

    The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G is aimed at people who need the ultimate mobile device for productivity and want to maximise each moment. The device is powered by an 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and comes with a healthy 4,400mAh battery. When it comes to camera arrays, there’s a very decent lineup here with the rear offering 12MP Wide, Ultrawide and Telephoto lenses. While this won’t beat a S21 Ultra for photography and videos, most users will do just fine with this setup.

    The Galaxy Z Fold3 unfolded offers a great browsing experience, but also gaming and video viewing experiences across the uninterrupted 7.6″ Infinity Flex Display. Unlike most of our modern flagship phones, Samsung is using a new under-display camera technology to avoid interruption in the display.

    The new display is 29% brighter while consuming less energy. Scrolling is smooth with a Super Smooth 120Hz adaptive refresh rate now on both the Main and Cover Screens.

    For those who need the ultimate device for productivity and immersive entertainment, the Galaxy Z Fold3 is a true multitasking powerhouse with next-level performance and support for the S Pen2.

    Price and Availability

    If you want a Z Fold3 5G, you can pre-order now, but you’ll need to pay up for this unique device, starting at an eye-watering A$2,499 for the 256GB model, or a massive A$2,649 for the 512GB version. The phone is available in 3 colours, phantom black, phantom green or phantom silver.

    There is an option to trade in an eligible device and get up to A$920 off the price. I tested an S21 Ultra 5G 512GB and that is worth $635. Out of interest, I also tested the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max 512GB and that will reduce the price by $945.. more than the stated maximum, so there you go. If you did happen to have that phone in perfect condition, the price tag then becomes a more manageable A$1,554. Of course, most people won’t buy this device outright, but rather on a plan over 24 or 36 months.

    You can also receive a bonus of $500 credit to buy something else from Samsung but that’s a limited time deal, so get in fast if you want this and a phone for your significant other.

    If you pre-order, you also get a choice of Galaxy Buds Pro, a Productivity Pack that includes a Keyboard, stand and S-Pen, or alternatively, you can grab a wireless charger.

    There is also a $99 option for screen replacement, this means if you damage your interior screen in the first 12 months, they’ll replace it for $99. Given the cost to replace a regular screen is usually hundreds of dollars, this may be something work considering, although if you’re careful, the fact the body surrounds the display when closed, it should be fairly well protected.

    “With Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3, Samsung is once again redefining the possibilities with foldable smartphones that empower users with the flexibility and versatility needed for today’s fast-paced world.

    As a pioneer and industry leader in the foldable category, we’re proud to build on our legacy of innovation with the Z Fold3 and Z Flip3. These devices equip consumers with technologies that unlock new ways to maximize and enjoy every moment with an ecosystem built on openness and innovation.”

    Dr. TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics.

    Galaxy Z Flip3 5G

    The Galaxy Z Flip3 5G is a far simply prospect, it’s more of a regular phone that folds in half, rather than doubling in size. Designed for those who want a smartphone that fits in smaller pockets (although slightly bulkier).

    There are a couple of different looks available with seven colour options including Cream, Phantom Black, Green and Lavender as well as three exclusive colours available only from the Samsung eStore – White, Pink and Grey.

    For those who want a device that combines style with function. The Galaxy Z Flip3 features a 6.7″ AMOLED main screen, but when closed also shows a cute little 1.9″ display with the essentials like time, notifications, music controls, the weather and more. When you see something you like, then flip open the phone and use it like normal, without a visible crease between the two halves of the display.

    The smaller phone, houses a fairly moderate battery capacity by today’s standards, at just 3,300mAh.

    Price and Availability

    Also available for pre-order now, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 also attracts a premium price starting at A$1,499 for the 128GB model, ranging up to A$1,599 for the 256GB option. These prices are steep, given this doesn’t feature a flagship camera or battery specs, but the design is fairly unique, so expect to pay a premium for that.

    Samsung says they understand that users expect foldable devices to last, so for the first time ever on a foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Flip3 offer IPX8 water resistance.

    Both devices are built with a new Armor Aluminum on the frame and hinge cover, the strongest aluminium used on a Galaxy smartphone. With another generation of devices, naturally, we get a newer, tougher Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 5 to help protect against scratches and accidental drops.

    In addition, both devices include a new protective film made of stretchable PET6 and optimised display panel layers resulting in the main screen that’s 80% more durable than previous devices.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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